SEO Best Practices by gcrqtp

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									             SEO Tips for more web Traffic


1) Good and short keywords in Title Tag

This is one of the most important places to have a keyword because what is written
inside the <title> tag shows in search results as your page title. The title tag must
be short (6 or 7 words at most) and the the keyword must be near the beginning.




2) Keywords in URL

Keywords in URLs help a lot - e.g. - http://gcreddy.com/qtp.html, where “qtp” is the
keyword phrase you attempt to rank well for.

3) Keyword density in document text

Another very important factor you need to check. 3-7 % for major keywords is best,
1-2 for minor. Keyword density of over 10% is suspicious and looks more like
keyword stuffing, than a naturally written text.

4) Keywords in anchor text

Also very important, especially for the anchor text of inbound links, because if you
have the keyword in the anchor text in a link from another site, this is regarded as
getting a vote from this site not only about your site in general, but about the
keyword in particular.

5) Keywords in headings (<H1>, <H2>, etc. tags)

One more place where keywords count a lot. But beware that your page has actual
text about the particular keyword.

6) Keywords in the beginning of a document

Also counts, though not as much as anchor text, title tag or headings. However,
have in mind that the beginning of a document does not necessarily mean the first
paragraph – for instance if you use tables, the first paragraph of text might be in the
second half of the table.

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7) Keywords in <alt> tags

Spiders don't read images but they do read their textual descriptions in the <alt>
tag, so if you have images on your page, fill in the <alt> tag with some keywords
about them.



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Keywords in metatags

Less and less important, especially for Google. Yahoo! and Bing still rely on them, so
if you are optimizing for Yahoo! or Bing, fill these tags properly. In any case, filling
these tags properly will not hurt, so do it.

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9

Keyword proximity

Keyword proximity measures how close in the text the keywords are. It is best if
they are immediately one after the other (e.g. “dog food”), with no other words
between them. For instance, if you have “dog” in the first paragraph and “food” in
the third paragraph, this also counts but not as much as having the phrase “dog
food” without any other words in between. Keyword proximity is applicable for
keyword phrases that consist of 2 or more words.

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10

Keyword phrases

In addition to keywords, you can optimize for keyword phrases that consist of
several words – e.g. “SEO services”. It is best when the keyword phrases you
optimize for are popular ones, so you can get a lot of exact matches of the search
string but sometimes it makes sense to optimize for 2 or 3 separate keywords
(“SEO” and “services”) than for one phrase that might occasionally get an exact
match.

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11

Secondary keywords

Optimizing for secondary keywords can be a golden mine because when everybody
else is optimizing for the most popular keywords, there will be less competition (and
probably more hits) for pages that are optimized for the minor words. For instance,
“real estate new jersey” might have thousand times less hits than “real estate” only
but if you are operating in New Jersey, you will get less but considerably better
targeted traffic.

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Keyword stemming

For English this is not so much of a factor because words that stem from the same
root (e.g. dog, dogs, doggy, etc.) are considered related and if you have “dog” on
your page, you will get hits for “dogs” and “doggy” as well, but for other languages
keywords stemming could be an issue because different words that stem from the
same root are considered as not related and you might need to optimize for all of
them.

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13

Synonyms

Optimizing for synonyms of the target keywords, in addition to the main keywords.
This is good for sites in English, for which search engines are smart enough to use
synonyms as well, when ranking sites but for many other languages synonyms are
not taken into account, when calculating rankings and relevancy.

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14

Keyword Mistypes

Spelling errors are very frequent and if you know that your target keywords have
popular misspellings or alternative spellings (i.e. Christmas and Xmas), you might be
tempted to optimize for them. Yes, this might get you some more traffic but having
spelling mistakes on your site does not make a good impression, so you'd better
don't do it, or do it only in the metatags.

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15

Keyword dilution

When you are optimizing for an excessive amount of keywords, especially unrelated
ones, this will affect the performance of all your keywords and even the major ones
will be lost (diluted) in the text.

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16

Keyword stuffing




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Any artificially inflated keyword density (10% and over) is keyword stuffing and you
risk getting banned from search engines.

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Links - internal, inbound, outbound

17

Anchor text of inbound links

As discussed in the Keywords section, this is one of the most important factors for
good rankings. It is best if you have a keyword in the anchor text but even if you
don't, it is still OK.

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18

Origin of inbound links

Besides the anchor text, it is important if the site that links to you is a reputable one
or not. Generally sites with greater Google PR are considered reputable.

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19

Links from similar sites

Having links from similar sites is very, very useful. It indicates that the competition
is voting for you and you are popular within your topical community.

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20

Links from .edu and .gov sites

These links are precious because .edu and .gov sites are more reputable than .com.
.biz, .info, etc. domains. Additionally, such links are hard to obtain.

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21

Number of Back links



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Generally the more, the better. But the reputation of the sites that link to you is
more important than their number. Also important is their anchor text, is there a
keyword in it, how old are they, etc.

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Anchor text of internal links

This also matters, though not as much as the anchor text of inbound links.

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Around-the-anchor text

The text that is immediately before and after the anchor text also matters because it
further indicates the relevance of the link – i.e. if the link is artificial or it naturally
flows in the text.

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24

Age of inbound links

The older, the better. Getting many new links in a short time suggests buying them.

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25

Links from directories

Great, though it strongly depends on which directories. Being listed in DMOZ, Yahoo
Directory and similar directories is a great boost for your ranking but having tons of
links from PR0 directories is useless and it can even be regarded as link spamming, if
you have hundreds or thousands of such links.

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26

Number of outgoing links on the page that links to you

The fewer, the better for you because this way your link looks more important.

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Named anchors

Named anchors (the target place of internal links) are useful for internal navigation
but are also useful for SEO because you stress additionally that a particular page,
paragraph or text is important. In the code, named anchors look like this: <A href=
“#dogs”>Read about dogs</A> and “#dogs” is the named anchor.

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28

IP address of inbound link

Google denies that they discriminate against links that come from the same IP
address or C class of addresses, so for Google the IP address can be considered
neutral to the weight of inbound links. However, Bing and Yahoo! may discard links
from the same IPs or IP classes, so it is always better to get links from different IPs.

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29

Inbound links from link farms and other suspicious sites

This does not affect you in any way, provided that the links are not reciprocal. The
idea is that it is beyond your control to define what a link farm links to, so you don't
get penalized when such sites link to you because this is not your fault but in any
case you'd better stay away from link farms and similar suspicious sites.

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Many outgoing links

Google does not like pages that consists mainly of links, so you'd better keep them
under 100 per page. Having many outgoing links does not get you any benefits in
terms of ranking and could even make your situation worse.

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31

Excessive linking, link spamming

It is bad for your rankings, when you have many links to/from the same sites (even
if it is not a cross- linking scheme or links to bad neighbors) because it suggests link




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buying or at least spamming. In the best case only some of the links are taken into
account for SEO rankings.

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32

Outbound links to link farms and other suspicious sites

Unlike inbound links from link farms and other suspicious sites, outbound links to
bad neighbors can drown you. You need periodically to check the status of the sites
you link to because sometimes good sites become bad neighbors and vice versa.

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33

Cross-linking

Cross-linking occurs when site A links to site B, site B links to site C and site C links
back to site A. This is the simplest example but more complex schemes are possible.
Cross-linking looks like disguised reciprocal link trading and is penalized.

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34

Single pixel links

when you have a link that is a pixel or so wide it is invisible for humans, so nobody
will click on it and it is obvious that this link is an attempt to manipulate search
engines.

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Metatags

35

<Description> metatag

Metatags are becoming less and less important but if there are metatags that still
matter, these are the <description> and <keywords> ones. Use the <Description>
metatag to write the description of your site. Besides the fact that metatags still rock
on Bing and Yahoo!, the <Description> metatag has one more advantage – it
sometimes pops in the description of your site in search results.

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<Keywords> metatag

The <Keywords> metatag also matters, though as all metatags it gets almost no
attention from Google and some attention from Bing and Yahoo! Keep the metatag
reasonably long – 10 to 20 keywords at most. Don't stuff the <Keywords> tag with
keywords that you don't have on the page, this is bad for your rankings.

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<Language> metatag

If your site is language-specific, don't leave this tag empty. Search engines have
more sophisticated ways of determining the language of a page than relying on the
<language>metatag but they still consider it.

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<Refresh> metatag

The <Refresh> metatag is one way to redirect visitors from your site to another.
Only do it if you have recently migrated your site to a new domain and you need to
temporarily redirect visitors. When used for a long time, the <refresh> metatag is
regarded as unethical practice and this can hurt your ratings. In any case,
redirecting through 301 is much better.

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Content

39

Unique content

Having more content (relevant content, which is different from the content on other
sites both in wording and topics) is a real boost for your site's rankings.

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Frequency of content change




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Frequent changes are favored. It is great when you constantly add new content but
it is not so great when you only make small updates to existing content.

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41

Keywords font size

When a keyword in the document text is in a larger font size in comparison to other
on-page text, this makes it more noticeable, so therefore it is more important than
the rest of the text. The same applies to headings (<h1>, <h2>, etc.), which
generally are in larger font size than the rest of the text.

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Keywords formatting

Bold and italic are another way to emphasize important words and phrases.
However, use bold, italic and larger font sizes within reason because otherwise you
might achieve just the opposite effect.

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43

Age of document

Recent documents (or at least regularly updated ones) are favored.

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44

File size

Generally long pages are not favored, or at least you can achieve better rankings if
you have 3 short rather than 1 long page on a given topic, so split long pages into
multiple smaller ones.

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45

Content separation




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From a marketing point of view content separation (based on IP, browser type, etc.)
might be great but for SEO it is bad because when you have one URL and differing
content, search engines get confused what the actual content of the page is.

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46

Poor coding and design

Search engines say that they do not want poorly designed and coded sites, though
there are hardly sites that are banned because of messy code or ugly images but
when the design and/or coding of a site is poor, the site might not be indexable at
all, so in this sense poor code and design can harm you a lot.

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47

Illegal Content

Using other people's copyrighted content without their permission or using content
that promotes legal violations can get you kicked out of search engines.

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48

Invisible text

This is a black hat SEO practice and when spiders discover that you have text
specially for them but not for humans, don't be surprised by the penalty.

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49

Cloaking

Cloaking is another illegal technique, which partially involves content separation
because spiders see one page (highly-optimized, of course), and everybody else is
presented with another version of the same page.

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50

Doorway pages




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Creating pages that aim to trick spiders that your site is a highly-relevant one when
it is not, is another way to get the kick from search engines.

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51

Duplicate content

When you have the same content on several pages on the site, this will not make
your site look larger because the duplicate content penalty kicks in. To a lesser
degree duplicate content applies to pages that reside on other sites but obviously
these cases are not always banned – i.e. article directories or mirror sites do exist
and prosper.

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Visual Extras and SEO

52

JavaScript

If used wisely, it will not hurt. But if your main content is displayed through
JavaScript, this makes it more difficult for spiders to follow and if JavaScript code is a
mess and spiders can't follow it, this will definitely hurt your ratings.

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Images in text

Having a text-only site is so boring but having many images and no text is a SEO
sin. Always provide in the <alt> tag a meaningful description of an image but don't
stuff it with keywords or irrelevant information.

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Podcasts and videos

Podcasts and videos are becoming more and more popular but as with all non-
textual goodies, search engines can't read them, so if you don't have the tapescript
of the podcast or the video, it is as if the podcast or movie is not there because it will
not be indexed by search engines.




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Images instead of text links

Using images instead of text links is bad, especially when you don't fill in the <alt>
tag. But even if you fill in the <alt> tag, it is not the same as having a bold,
underlined, 16-pt. link, so use images for navigation only if this is really vital for the
graphic layout of your site.

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56

Frames

Frames are very, very bad for SEO. Avoid using them unless really necessary.

                                            -2

57

Flash

Spiders don't index the content of Flash movies, so if you use Flash on your site,
don't forget to give it an alternative textual description.

                                            -2

58

A Flash home page

Fortunately this epidemic disease seems to have come to an end. Having a Flash
home page (and sometimes whole sections of your site) and no HTML version, is a
SEO suicide.

                                            -3




Domains, URLs, Web Mastery

59

Keyword-rich URLs and filenames

A very important factor, especially for Yahoo! and Bing.



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Site Accessibility

Another fundamental issue, which that is often neglected. If the site (or separate
pages) is unaccessible because of broken links, 404 errors, password-protected
areas and other similar reasons, then the site simply can't be indexed.

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61

Sitemap

It is great to have a complete and up-to-date sitemap, spiders love it, no matter if it
is a plain old HTML sitemap or the special Google sitemap format.

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Site size

Spiders love large sites, so generally it is the bigger, the better. However, big sites
become user-unfriendly and difficult to navigate, so sometimes it makes sense to
separate a big site into a couple of smaller ones. On the other hand, there are hardly
sites that are penalized because they are 10,000+ pages, so don't split your size in
pieces only because it is getting larger and larger.

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Site age

Similarly to wine, older sites are respected more. The idea is that an old, established
site is more trustworthy (they have been around and are here to stay) than a new
site that has just poped up and might soon disappear.

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Site theme

It is not only keywords in URLs and on page that matter. The site theme is even
more important for good ranking because when the site fits into one theme, this
boosts the rankings of all its pages that are related to this theme.



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File Location on Site

File location is important and files that are located in the root directory or near it
tend to rank better than files that are buried 5 or more levels below.

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Domains versus subdomains, separate domains

Having a separate domain is better – i.e. instead of having blablabla.blogspot.com,
register a separate blablabla.com domain.

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Top-level domains (TLDs)

Not all TLDs are equal. There are TLDs that are better than others. For instance, the
most popular TLD – .com – is much better than .ws, .biz, or .info domains but (all
equal) nothing beats an old .edu or .org domain.

                                            +1

68

Hyphens in URLs

Hyphens between the words in an URL increase readability and help with SEO
rankings. This applies both to hyphens in domain names and in the rest of the URL.

                                            +1

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URL length

Generally doesn't matter but if it is a very long URL-s, this starts to look spammy, so
avoid having more than 10 words in the URL (3 or 4 for the domain name itself and
6 or 7 for the rest of address is acceptable).

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IP address

Could matter only for shared hosting or when a site is hosted with a free hosting
provider, when the IP or the whole C-class of IP addresses is blacklisted due to
spamming or other illegal practices.

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71

Adsense will boost your ranking

Adsense is not related in any way to SEO ranking. Google will definitely not give you
a ranking bonus because of hosting Adsense ads. Adsense might boost your income
but this has nothing to do with your search rankings.

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72

Adwords will boost your ranking

Similarly to Adsense, Adwords has nothing to do with your search rankings. Adwords
will bring more traffic to your site but this will not affect your rankings in whatsoever
way.

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Hosting downtime

Hosting downtime is directly related to accessibility because if a site is frequently
down, it can't be indexed. But in practice this is a factor only if your hosting provider
is really unreliable and has less than 97-98% uptime.

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Dynamic URLs

Spiders prefer static URLs, though you will see many dynamic pages on top
positions. Long dynamic URLs (over 100 characters) are really bad and in any case
you'd better use a tool to rewrite dynamic URLs in something more human- and
SEO-friendly.

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Session IDs

This is even worse than dynamic URLs. Don't use session IDs for information that
you'd like to be indexed by spiders.

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76

Bans in robots.txt

If indexing of a considerable portion of the site is banned, this is likely to affect the
nonbanned part as well because spiders will come less frequently to a “noindex” site.

                                           -2

77

Redirects

When not applied properly, redirects can hurt a lot – the target page might not open,
or worse – a redirect can be regarded as a black hat technique, when the visitor is
immediately taken to a different page.




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